“The Redboard” takes looks back at past race results and analyzes my picks for the Steam tip sheet–the good, the bad, and the ugly. While I may make some excuses, I won’t gloat on past scores after the fact, as the definition “red board” implies. This column is more of a handicapping exercise–to determine track biases, horses that had bad trips, overlays that ran deceptively well, and underlays that had no excuses for running poorly–with the goal of picking profitable winners in the future. So here it goes . . . the Redboard, issue five:
Keeneland, Sunday, October 21, 2018
The results for Steam‘s top-pick selections were as follows: three wins, one second, and one third on the nine-race program for a strike rate of 33 percent and in the money ratio of 56 percent. Return on investment (ROI*) was +12%, or +24 cents for each two dollars wagered on its top picks on the card.
RACE 1: $50,000 maiden claiming for two-year-olds. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track. Weather CLEAR, 48 degrees.
Top choice and favored Tax (2-1) was asked for a bit of run out of the gate, saved ground into the clubhouse turn, floated into the 2-path on the backstretch, settled off pacesetting Clipboard Money (7-1) throughout moderate splits (:23 4/5, :48 flat, and 1:12 2/5), collared that rival at the quarter-pole, and drew clear in the lane to win by two lengths on the wire. Its Game Time (7-1), who finished fifth, bobbled at the start and Shoeless (14-1), who was seventh, was bumped at the start.
RACE 2: $7,500 open claiming for three-year-olds and upward. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
Top selection Li’l J (2-1) carved out a quick early half-mile in :45 3/5, repelled a challenge from Mayor Mac (6-1), then gave way just inside the eighth-pole to finish fifth of 11, beaten 5 lengths and change for all the money. The late-running Kahramani (3-1) used the quick early pace to his advantage and unleashed a stout late rally in the stretch to get up for the win by a head in the shadow of the wire over the closing Bud’s Bayonet (8-1). Mark My Way, who finished ninth at 18-1, came in at the start.
RACE 3: $67,000 maiden special weight for two-year-olds. 8.5 furlongs on a FIRM turf course.
Longshot Bluegrass Parkway (7-1) fired like a shot in the stretch and put away El Ahijado (17-1) in the final jumps to win this turf route race by three-parts of a length on the wire. First-time starter Kathak (5-2) was another three-quarters of a length back in third. Top pick Twelfthofneverland (2-1) attended the pace and was bankrupt in the lane. Twice Please (63-1) hopped at the start, was bothered on the clubhouse turn, and was distanced.
RACE 4: $100,000 optional claiming, “two other than” allowance for three-year-olds and upward. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
The meet’s leading trainer with eight wins, Todd Pletcher, continued to play a hot hand with horses coming back off long layoffs as Bal Harbour (7-1) made his first start since March 17 a winning one, scoring by a nose over Title Ready (3-2) on the line. Top selection Rugbyman (2-1) pressed longshot Eisenstaedt (10-1) out of the gate, took command on the backside at the six-furlong marker, but tired in the stretch to finish third, beaten a length and change for all the marbles.
RACE 5: $67,000 maiden special weight for fillies and mares three-years-old and upward. 8 furlongs on a FAST track.
The winner, Smile More (3-1), clocked She Is Bedazzling (14-1), who set a moderate early pace (:23 3/5, :48 1/5), edged clear at the half mile-pole, then held sway in the stretch drive to win by a comfortable two lengths. Steam‘s top selection–Stargirl (5-2)–stalked the pace to no avail and finished sixth-of-nine, beaten 12 lengths and change for the win. She Is Bedazzling broke out at the start, Seeds of Time (71-1) was bumped and bothered at the start, and Mo Moxie (9-5) was bothered at the start and fanned five-wide at the quarter-pole.
RACE 6: $75,500 classified allowance for fillies and mares three-years-old and upward. 5.5 furlongs on a FIRM turf course.
Top pick and favored Excessivespending (4-5) was the recipient of a great trip by jockey Julien Leparoux, who stalked a quick pace (:22 flat, :45 3/5, and :57 3/5) set by Luvin Bullies (7-1) while covered up, shifted out into the five-path at the quarter-pole, and reeled in Luvin Bullies in the stretch to prevail by two and a quarter lengths on the wire. It’s worth noting that this heat lost some of its zeal with the late scratches of contenders Nootka Sound and Goldberry.
RACE 7: $62,500 optional claiming, “two other than” allowance for fillies and mares three-years-old and upward. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
Top selection Mylady Curlin (9-5) suffered a tough head defeat at the hands of the Italian-bred filly Red Dane (Ity), who went off at odds of 12-1. Red Dane (Ity) bobbled at the start, then attended the pace set by Inspeightofyou, off at long odds of 23-1, in :23 3/5, :48 1/5, and 1:13 2/5, followed a move made by Mylady Curlin at the five-sixteenths-pole, engaged in a head-and-head battle with that rival at the eighth-pole, and prevailed by a hard-fought neck at the finish under the five-pound “bug boy” Edgar Morales, who continues to ride well at the meet.
RACE 8: $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes (G3T). 12 furlongs on a FIRM turf course.
Vexatious (4-1), Steam‘s top pick, got a beautiful trip stalking pacesetting Beach Flower (8-1), Daring Duchess (4-1), and Viva Vegas (9-2), saved ground while covered up down the backside, was tipped-out at the quarter-pole, and finished on the bridle to be beaten a short neck by a game Beach Flower on the wire. A claim of foul was lodged by Brian Hernandez, Jr., the rider of English Affair (6-1), against Chris Landeros on Beach Flower for coming in on his mount inside the sixteenth-pole and causing interference in the stretch run. After a lengthy review, Beach Flower was disqualified for interference in the stretch and placed third. Vexatious–who paid a healthy $10.60 to win–was placed first, and English Affair was moved up from third to second. Read the full Keeneland Steward’s Report. Savannah Belle (20-1) came out at the start and Shezaprado (37-1) was bothered at the start.
RACE 9: $7,500 open claiming for three-year-olds and upward. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
The top selection, Paddy’s Notes (9-2), stalked the freewheeling Tiz Funny (14-1), who set a quick early pace of :21 4/5 and :45 3/5, was asked for run at the quarter-pole, swung out into the four-path at the three-sixteenths pole, and stayed on while one-paced to finish fifth of 11, beaten two and three-quarter lengths for all the money. The winner, Swamp Ruler’s (3-1), late kick was enhanced by the quick early pace while Emmett’s Dream (11-1) finished well to be second, and She Read My Texts (9-2) stayed on to be third.
Both the main track and the turf course played fair, though neither surface yielded a gate-to-wire winner on the day . . . Jockey Julien Leparoux booted home two winners on the card–Bluegrass Parkway ($16.40) in the third and Excessivespending ($3.60) in the sixth–and is tied with Jose Ortiz, Jr. for leading rider honors heading into the final four days of racing with 10 wins apiece . . . Trainer Todd Pletcher remains on top of the trainer’s standings with eight wins, two victories better than Mike Maker and Eddie Kenneally . . . There is a $18,637 carryover in the $1 Pick 6 and a $9,849 carryover in the $1 Super Hi-5 on the Wednesday, October 24 program.
*Return on investment (ROI) is calculated by dividing the net profit by the total amount invested.